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Exeter River in New Hampshire

Trip Overview

This section of the Exeter River is navigable in the late spring/early summer but only barely. For this trip I started at the parking coordinates (see below) and headed west. There is a slight amount of current in the deeper sections and much more current where the water becomes too shallow to paddle; at these spots you will have to get out and tow your kayak upstream a short distance.

The more difficult technical challenges are a number of areas almost blocked by logjams and a few places where a large tree is across the entire river. To get past these spots I had to paddle fast and run up onto the fallen tree and then hump ahead a little bit at a time. At another point I had to paddle with all my might to get past a narrow opening where the water was rushing through.

After a few miles I reached a spot where the shallows were too extensive to proceed and turned back, wondering how I would cope with these obstacles. But the current was a real help in getting past them and I did not have to get out and walk as much as I did on the trip upstream. On both the way upstream and back I saw a heron fly off.

The river is very narrow here and most of your time you will be between two high banks with woods on both sides. The trees from one side almost touch the trees on the other.

This was my first experience in short stretches of very minor rapids and going along and picking up speed was fun.

The put-in is a few steps from your car down a wooded banking to water that is about a foot deep by the shoreline and deeper once you get underway.






Parking for one or two cars off Haigh Rd. at N42 59.027 W71 02.355

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip